We’re Off to See the Therapist!
Clients come to therapy with many different
expectations, wants, and needs.
Some people want their therapist to just
be there and listen to them…an experience
they don’t get very often and one they need to
be able to understand themselves better.
Some people come to therapy thinking that
the therapist will be able to fix their problems.
Others aren’t sure exactly what to expect,
aren’t sure what they want or need…they
just have a sense that something is missing
or just isn’t working anymore.
The Therapist of Oz
It dawns on me weekly that therapy is very
much like that story of The Wizard of Oz.
People come to therapy searching for many
things: happiness, peace, healing, relief,
the ability to become powerful in their own lives,
the ability to stop doing things they don’t want to do,
the ability to start doing things they do want to do.
Just like the lion, the tinman, the scarecrow, and even
Dorothy…they are searching for love, for courage,
for empowerment, to feel finally like they belong in this
world they would like to feel like and call “Home.”
The Wizard: Fraud or Freud?
There’s that wonderful line from the
Dewey Bunnell song, The TinMan:
“Oz never did give nothing to the tinman
that he didn’t, didn’t already have…”
And therapy is often just like this.
Yes, therapists can tell you things about your
diagnosis or about the current knowledge of the
field that you didn’t know before.
And therapists can teach you how to do certain
things, like set goals, keep behavior charts,
practice assertiveness techniques, learn how
to resolve conflicts effectively and much more.
But mainly, good therapists simply remind you
and make you aware of qualities, strengths, and
abilities that were there all along.
Just Click Your Heels…
If you are human, you have the ability to love.
You have the ability to determine for yourself
what is right and healthy for you.
You have the ability to be appropriately courageous,
assertive and protective of what matters to you.
You have the ability to trust others, to be more
open and vulnerable and “yourself” with others.
You have the ability to learn and know that
you matter in this world, that you have a home.
Your therapist isn’t going to give these abilities
to you. He or she may just remind you that you
have them at your disposal, give you some pointers
in how to use them and convince you that you need
to practice because you might be a “little rusty.”
Let’s Head Down That Yellow Brick Road
If you’re in therapy or contemplating seeing a therapist
to help you resolve a problem or issue in your life,
keep in mind that you’ll be the one doing most of the work.
Remember the Wizard never left Emerald City…everyone
else had to go on the tough journeys to complete tasks
like getting the broomstick of the wicked witch.
But hopefully you will leave your therapeutic experience
with the knowledge intact that you have what you need
to know, that you have what you need to feel, and that
you are who you need to be. 🙂